June 2014: Sasha and Anya's Big Adventure in Michigan


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Rather than stay home and take care of their helpless crippled father, the kids split town with Grandma & Grandpa and hightailed it to Amish Country.

A "Proof of Life" Selfie sent by Sylvie once they arrived in Michigan.

They were then immediately immersed in a massive nerd gathering at the Rowland's

Captain Rowland and his minions on the bridge of their starship

Enemy torpedo and phaser blasts rock the ship left and right

Senior helmsman Lieutenant Hikaru Hill performs admirably for some visiting academy cadet observers.

 

However, Captain Rowland is displeased and sets his phaser from stun to kill.


That night Anna reads to the children some of her favorite passages from Bardo Thodol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead.


The children wanted to go camping 
so they were forced to spend much of their first week in Michigan raising money for the trip by soliciting donations for lemonade.


Upon setting up camp at P.H. Hoeft State Park in Roger's City, they were immediately waylaid by trappers plying their fresh kills.

Lucy and Sasha inspect a fetid and putrid skunk pelt.

The children listen in horror as the savage huntress relates the brutal tale of how she cornered and murdered this fox.

Aunt Lisa introduces the children to Lake Huron

Anya finds a handful of... Lake Monster teeth?  

Sasha & Anya's first visit to a Great Lake!

Aunt Lisa always chooses a favorite child for the day and then makes sure that the other children are abundantly aware that they were not chosen.

Having spent the last 2.3 million years working it's way up onto the beach, Sasha casts a stone back into the chilly and unforgiving waters.

A city kid at heart, Sasha defaces the beach by tagging it with her name.

Then proudly stands by her work.

Sasha shows Sylvie one of the many, many, many spinal cords that litter the beach.

The families assemble for a group photo.

Many configurations are tried and finally they all agree to go with the one that doesn't include Sylvie.

The magnificent shores of Lake Huron

 

Best known as the home of Bythotrephes longimanus, the spiny water flea.

Hugging on the Shores of Huron.  A Rowland Family tradition.

 

Anya tries to stop Anna from writing something that she will regret.

Lucy and Anya tussle for what they have been told by the older children is a magical staff.

 

Scowling Tweens.  So scowly.

 

Under the majestic stars and the tranquil evening beauty of nature, the children text each other and play Flappy Bird on their phones.

 

Sasha patrols on morning guard duty at the campsite.

Anya pinpoints and targets a horrid bug discovered during a random inspection of the chairs.

As per the ancient laws, scissors beats paper.  Anya will be the camp stooge for the day, performing all sorts of undesirable tasks...

 

...Such as sitting next to Uncle Jeff...

...And being the first to test and see if the slide is "too hot."

Sasha and Anya have never seen a slide like this before.

So ancient.  Metal.  Tall.  Fun.

Anna plays a dangerous game.

A down home family meal at Karsten's?  That's good eatin!

 

Why did the families cross The Mackinac Bridge?

To get some Murdick's Fudge of course!

 

Mackinaw.  A city lost in time.

 

Sasha calibrates the scope and targets the bridge.

 

As always...  Fishers on one side of the bridge.  Rowlands on the other side.

 

Perhaps the children will find an accord and bring an end to their centuries long feud.

 

The Famous Mackinaw Stump.  Grand Mac Stumpy.  The Old M.

It's bad luck not to take the leap...

...and worse if you don't get caught.

Not a day has passed that I haven't heard the children tell me of the fun that they had jumping from this stump.  Michigan is truly a wonderland!

 

Jeff and Anya enter into a battle of wits for possession of the staff.

 

Easily crushing the 5 year old, Jeff is triumphant!

   

His victory dance and ballads carry on through the night and into the wee hours of the following morning.

Sylvia never forgets that she is a child of the streets and throws up her St-J gang signs at any opportunity to rep for her peeps.

 

Anya is once again foiled in her quest for the staff.

 

"The Pamper Camper" where all the Little Fishers sleep.

Fun in the sun soon turns serious.

As per tradition one child is buried and left behind as an offering to the Mackinac Gods.

It is Anna who makes the ultimate sacrifice this year.

 

Cat naps.

Kid rule # 271:  There's always better toys in someone else's room.

 

One last photo of the cousins.  Come on Anya...  Smile!

 

Whatever... Good enough.

Thanks Rowlands and Fishers for taking such good care of Sasha and Anya while I sat at home frightened and despondent on the couch
 trying not to slip into madness from the never-ending pain and agony of my twisted and crushed bones.  They had a great time! 

 

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